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Education | Germany govt. should invest in teaching before tech

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Education | Germany govt. should invest in teaching before tech

Education | Germany govt. should invest in teaching before tech

Education | Germany govt. should invest in teaching before tech

 

Some German schools are lucky to have a single computer in classrooms; others boast all the latest gadgets. Researchers for Bertelsmann have called for larger investments in tech.A school with high-speed internet and computers for every student is a school that has fallen behind.

This problem has become acute in Germany, where digitization efforts have been slow and classroom technology varies widely.

According to a report released on Friday by the Bertelsmann Foundation, Germany must invest nearly € 3 trillion ($ 3.5 billion) a year in digital technology for schools if it wants to stay competitive globally.

 

“Digitization is the norm and a long-term task,” Jörg Dräger, director of the Bertelsmann Foundation, said on the report’s publication on Friday, calling for the federal government to give more money to local schools.

 

Accounting for computers, high-speed internet, hardware, software, technical support, and digital teaching tools, the price tag for Germany’s estimated 11 million students to $ 2 billion more than the Ministry of Education schools calls for.

 

Instead of teachers, ‘we get computers’

 

Dräger criticized officials for thinking of giving schools a lump sum of money rather than making a sustainable long-term commitment.

The study’s proposal – in essence also a chunk of money, but not training for teachers. A huge investment nice sounds, they old DW, but it could not turn into a real money problem.

 

“It’s a good idea,” the high school teacher Ingo Matthias said. “But we need to spend money on training teachers how to use it.”
The 49-year-old said, “A lot of students already come to school.” If they use technology in the classroom, it needs to be more effective and more effective.

 

One of our programs was given € 5,000 for this year, “he said.” That’s more money than we can spend, so it becomes a surplus. That is to say: We have a lot of books when we need them more. Instead of more employees we get books.

 

Instead of teachers, we get computers. “
Germany is currently suffering from a shortage. According to figures published in the Süddeutsche Zeitung in September, more than 3,000 teaching positions are still needed at the start of the 2017/2018 school year.

 

Matter of priorities

 

At schools where the latest gadgets are the norm – for example, at a vocational school where computer science is taught – teachers already know the advantages of high-tech classrooms.

 

But even then, keeping up with the proper licenses, subscriptions and software updates has become a problem for teachers. The internet crashes often, too, Sarah, a trained teacher who was not used, told DW.

 

With so many problems plaguing Germany’s schools, the 33-year-old is more concerned about the issue.
Should the quality of education continue to fall in Germany, Sarah said, no one will really need to worry about digitization.

Like Matthias, she fears that officials could “throw a half-baked educational concept into the room and hope that everything will be OK.”

 

 

Struggling to digitize

 

A weakened education system hit with fast-moving but ultimately half-baked efforts to bring about problems in the classroom.

The commitment to digitization – including educational opportunities for older Germans – was one of Chancellor Angela Merkel ‘s campaign pledges this year.

The government’s slow reaction to the world is a symptomatic of a “culture that innovates in small steps,” rather than “experimental leaps and bounds”, “a Handelsblatt report on Germany’s ailing tech sector put it in July.

 

Indeed, Germany was one of the seven EU countries ranked among the world’s top 10 global digital leaders by the World Economic Forum in 2016.

 

The Networked Readiness Index measured the relationship between a country’s economy and its competitiveness.

Germany also failed to make the forum’s list of the seven “top movers” in global information technology or the top 10 tech-savviest governments.

Risk aversion and crippling bureaucracy are also cited as problems that contribute to Germany’s overall, as the Financial Times puts it in January, “gnawing fear” that “the forces of digitization could sweep away the country’s economic and industrial preeminence.”

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